With Earth Month quickly approaching, the annual sprint begins for sustainability directors, green teams and organizations to ensure their company takes meaningful action to celebrate Earth Day.
Right now, all around the world, sustainability professionals are under pressure to deliver something bigger and better than the year before. This year, break away from this Earth Day stress and create something of real impact.
Use this high-profile time to your advantage to educate your employees, increase awareness, and lay the groundwork for your sustainability strategy.
Be sure to follow these 10 tried-and-true tips to ensure a successful Earth Day event.
Top 10 Tips for Your Earth Day Event:
- Provide Lists of Small, Meaningful Actions: Provide employees with a list of small actions they can take in their own lives – both at home and at work – to live more sustainably.
- Check out this comprehensive of personal actions, or get in touch with SBC to access our 50 Tips for at home and at work.
- Make it Fun: People prioritize things that make them feel good, and no one wants to feel guilty about their behaviors when it comes to sustainability. Whatever you do, make it fun!
- Our friends at Verity Credit Union hosted an ugly mug competition to encourage reusable drinking vessels. Don’t even ask what their staff lounges looked like!
- Start with the End in Mind: Determine what you want to accomplish and prepare to communicate about it after Earth Day, then align your event and systems around your vision.
- Use this free infographic tool by Canva to design a professional looking communications piece to distribute post-Earth Day.
- Put Tracking Systems in Place: Numbers tell stories. Track your efforts and participation numbers so you can communicate success stories and report impact.
- Be sure you can track waste diverted, energy saved, paper reduced, water conserved, trees planted, dollars donated, employees engaged, communities impacted… you get the point! If you feel overwhelmed, SBC can help you keep track and create a local impact assessment for your company.
- Align with the Global Movement: Help your employees see how their actions contribute to global movements on environmental and social issues.
- Use globally-recognized goals such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals to let participants feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
- Engage the Skeptic: The naysayer, the defeatist, the cynic. Everyone knows someone that always plays devil’s advocate and is skeptical. Reach out to them and get their input to eliminate blind spots you haven’t thought of yet.
- PR disasters, like the "VW Truth in Engineering" campaign just moments prior to their emissions scandal breaking, happen when you don’t have diverse opinions. Get the right people at the table to avoid these slip-ups.
- Make it a Competition: Host a competition between offices or departments and set a prize or group of potential prizes that are meaningful - it's amazing how competitive people can be!
- You can create your own energy/water/waste/food challenge, or join an existing platform like the Eco-Challenge where the infrastructure is set for you!
- Provide Flexibility: Not everyone wants to plant trees or is available at the time of the event. Give employees different options for how they can get involved.
- Check out this example from Canon Global, where each region was given autonomy to choose an event that worked for their office. Note their large and diverse efforts!
- Engage Your Partners: Magnify your impact by linking up with partner organizations or companies that align with your mission and values.
- When the Sounders FC announced their carbon neutrality commitment, they leveraged their partners, Forterra and SBC, to expand their reach to new audiences.
- Make it Sustainable: Minimize waste and paper, and if you must print, make sure you use recycled paper. Use compostable plates, cups, utensils, napkins, etc. Don’t accidentally sabotage your own event!
- Order your compostable materials from our fellow certified B Corp, World Centric. While you’re at it – talk to your purchasing team to switch all office products to compostable!